The last prompt of March Ensemble is “turn it upside down”. The first thing that came to mind was Upside Down by Diana Ross. I think I was in high school when I first really got into this song? I’d never seen the music video, though, what a treat. I decided to create something like the music video, and also like the name of the prompt. What could be more “upside down” than a white lady taking a picture emulating Diana Ross? And then, why not just put it upside down, literally, like some bizarro mirror image. Like the “upside down” in Stranger Things, or some extra wrong “tethered” from Us.
Instinctively I thought, “Diana Ross must be an Aries”, but really I probably just knew that somewhere in my brain that never forgets people’s astrological signs. March 26! She just had her 77th birthday. I thought about who would be the Diana Ross of our generation, and Lana Del Rey was actually the first person who came to mind. Talk about upside down. But for real, what other artist now would have a line in a song like “respectfully I say to thee I’m aware that you’re cheating”? Diana Ross isn’t angry when she sings this, she’s just stating a fact, and also stating she doesn’t care because the love that she gets “instinctively” from this lover is worth the cheating that is also happening. Sounds like a Lana Del Rey song to me, but don’t tell Diana Ross.
So I put together this image, working with that I have (as I’ve done with all the March Ensemble prompts), a printer/copier and some scissors. I like working within limits. I can’t worry too much about the quality of the print, because this printer/copier is all I have. I can’t worry about getting my picture to look exactly like Diana Ross’, because I’m working in bed before my children wake up. I can’t worry about making something too profound, I don’t want to overthink or take myself too seriously. Then again, I think all these works people have been making for March Ensemble are profound precisely because of the limits. Freedom Under Law, as an old friend of mine used to say. At the risk of sounding too sappy, March Ensemble has been life changing for me. It’s been something to open my brain, push me to make for the sake of making, think about things differently, experience a part of my brain and psyche I haven’t really tapped into for awhile. We’ve pushed through the waters of Pisces, into the fire of Aries throughout the ensemble. The symbol of the horns comes back to me, like the first piece I made for March Ensemble. Sick, sad song. Maybe if you turn a sick, sad song upside down you get a Diana Ross bop. The sign of the horns protects Diana Ross and I from the Evil Eye.
Until next March!